Thursday, 5:21 AM, ruminating on a snippet from yesterday.
To give thanks is among the most recurring exhortations in the bible, and I’ve struggled with it since the beginning of my journey. I’m terribly un-thankful, a lot of the time.
I’m ashamed of this. I want to be grateful. My life and the comfortable world I inhabit are chock full of blessings from morning to night, and I say thanks for them at least once in a day. Feeling grateful, though, happens less than I’d like to admit.
But this morning a sharp reality check jolted me into a deeper awareness of just how abundant is the abundance in my life. It wasn’t a brush with death or anything. Just a sudden, precisely aimed pinch, lovingly issued by the Holy Spirit.
My family will tell you, I hate to be cold. And mornings are often COLD where I live, even in summer. Well, we’re now into autumn, as your calendar has probably alerted you, and I don’t go anywhere without a jacket.
It was still dark when I got out of bed and reached for the soft hoodie I usually throw on, but instead of the cozy, familiar zip-up, I found I was holding a mere thin t-shirt that I had lazily left next to it, the night before.
I scornfully dropped it as if it had insulted me on some level(!) and switched to grab the jacket – when a pointed question suddenly popped into my mind: What if that shirt were the only option I had?
I pictured struggling to pull on this puny t-shirt as a buffer against the morning chill. Top layer? Bottom? It would fail either way to keep me warm.
Then stark scenarios of my house without heat ran through my mind. Rather than fill me with fear, these images chastened me, instilling deep gratitude.
I thought of countless people who’d faced – still face – the sobering challenge over the generations. No instant heat. The constant need to find fuel for the fire; the fire that requires constant tending to beat back the relentless cold. The possibility, furthermore, of no home at all. No heat at all.
For the blessing of a heated home, I humbly thank you, God.
I thank You also for kindly teaching gratitude to me, whose unappreciativeness must be staggering to you; yet you grace my life with both the teaching and the warmth.
May I share this gift in some way, through You, with You, in You today. Amen.
Verse note: Psalm 111: 1